Local Nonprofit Hopes To Help Cyclone Victims

Myanmar Casualties From Cyclone Said To Reach 100,000

A group of Coloradoans have launched a nonprofit organization to help a school in a village devastated by the cyclone that struck Myanmar nine days ago.

Myanmar's state television said the death toll in last week's cyclone has jumped by about 5,000 to 28,458.

It said Sunday that the number of missing now stands at 33,416.

International aid groups, however, said the death toll could eventually top 100,000 as conditions worsen. Oxfam's regional chief Sarah Ireland warns of a potential health catastrophe, saying as many as 1.5 million people in Myanmar could die from disease if they don't get clean water and sanitation soon.

Other humanitarian groups said it appears that more aid is getting through as roads are cleared of fallen trees and piled-up debris. But Myanmar's reclusive military rulers have barred foreign relief workers from entering the country and said they will hand out all donated supplies on thier own.

Greg Martinez, Kristen Koehler and Diarmuid Truaz traveled to Myanmar last year to deliver supplies to a school in a village outside the capital Yangon.

The school was severely damaged as well. The directors said two of the schools' three buildings were destroyed and half of the homes in the village were demolished.

The school is using the remaining building to provide food, shelter and day care to as many families as possible.

"It's very difficult to get water, it's very difficult to get rice, he said that the area where the cyclone hit is very rich rice-growing area," said Diarmuid Trua, co-founder of Sense the World.

Truax's organization is accepting donations on their Web site to provide more money to the school.

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